Noun Clause

Noun clauses

Introduction

A clause is a group of words that contain a subject and a verb.  Clauses can take the place of different parts of speech. For instance, you are probably familiar with adjective clauses.
The man, who looked sleepy, sat down.
Who looked sleepy is an adjective clause.  It is taking the place of  an adjective.  An adjective is used to describe nouns and so do adjective clauses.
We could re-write the sentence with an adjective.
The sleepy man sat down.
Similarly, a noun clause can take the place of a noun.  This lesson will explain noun clauses, give examples of noun clauses, and then provide several quizzes to practice forming noun clauses.
 


Noun Clauses - Explanations & Examples

There are three basic types of noun clauses.  These types are 1) noun clauses that start with a question word (where, how, who, when, why), 2) noun clauses that start with whether or if, and 3) noun clauses that start with that.
 

1. Noun Clauses that Start with a Question

Noun clauses that start with a question are usually used to answer a question.  The following examples should better explain this.
  •  Where does Sarik live?
  • I don't know where Sarik lives. "where Sarik lives" is a noun clause.  We could answer this question without a noun clause by saying the following. I don't know Sarik's address.  The noun phrase, Sarik's address, replaces with the noun clause, where Sarik lives.      
  • What time is it?
  • I don't know what time it is. "what time it is" is a noun clause.  We could answer this question without a noun clause by saying the following. I don't know the time.  In this case, the noun phrase, the time, replaces the noun clause, what time it is.  

2.  Noun Clauses that Start with Whether or If

Noun clauses that start with whether or if are used to answer yes/no type questions.  Whether and if are usually interchangeable.  The following examples should better explain this.
 
  • Does Judy own a Honda?
  • I don't know if Judy owns a Honda. "if Judy owns a Honda" is a noun clause.  We could answer this question without a noun clause by saying the following. I don't know the answer.  In this case, the noun phrase, the answer, replaces the noun clause, if Judy owns a Honda.    
  • Will Sadine be at work on Friday?
  • I don't know whether Sadine will be at work on Friday. "whether Sadine will be at work on Friday" is a noun clause.  We could answer this question without a noun clause by saying the following. I don't know the answer.  In this case, the noun phrase, the answer, replaces the noun clause, whether Sadine will be at work on Friday.

3.  Noun Clauses that Start with That.

Noun clauses that start with that are used to answer questions in which person who is answering is thinking, giving an opinion, or using a mental activity verb.  The following examples should better explain this.
  • Is Dr. Elimelech a good instructor?
  • I think that Dr. Elimelech is a good instructor. "that Dr. Elimelech is a good instructor" is a noun clause.  This noun clause could be omitted by saying the following. I think so.    
  • Do you know the location of an ATM?
  • I believe that there is an ATM in the supermarket. "that there is an ATM in the supermarket" is a noun clause.
Most of the time, native speakers will drop the word that.  It is perfectably acceptable to say the following. I think that Dr. Elimelech is a good instructor.
OR  I think Dr. Elimelech is a good instructor.
I believe that there is an ATM in the supermarket.
OR  I believe there is an ATM in the supermarket.
excercises!
Fill your answer in the box!
1. Where is the Multimedia Classroom?
I don't know

2. When is spring break?
I don't know

3. How much will it cost to register for classes this summer?
I don't know

4. What is the special in the cafeteria?
I don't know

5. Why is it so cold in the computer laboratory?
I don't know

6. What time does Lucia come to work?
I don't know

7. Where did Sophorn go?
I don't know

8. Whose homework is this?
I don't know

9. Who is in charge of cleaning the restrooms?
I don't know

10. How long will it take me to master noun clauses?
I don't know

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